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Critical Comment Sought On Proposed German Itinerary

Critical Comment Sought On Proposed German Itinerary

Old Nov 18th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Critical Comment Sought On Proposed German Itinerary

Hello All, especially those with personal experience:

I'm early in the "noodling" stage for a trip to Germany, probably in the early Fall. Having just completed a "cities" tour in northern Germany, I'm looking at an excursion from east to west, mainly by car. Please provide your critical comments on the selection of stops, great things to see or do for a couple of seniors, one of whom does not walk well, and any pitfalls for an unenthusiastic driver. As always, I'll be grateful:

Fly to Prague - Visit
Train to Leipzig -Visit
Rent car, drive to and stay at:
Wernigerode
Goslar
Bad Pyrmont
Meschede
Dusseldorf and fly home

If there are interesting intermediate stops, please mention.

Gradyghost
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Here my recommendations:

- I would rather go to Dresden instead of Leipzig.

- For short stops on the way, consider the Wartburg in Eisenach (the castle where Luther translated the bible):

http://www.wartburg-eisenach.de

- Erfurt has a pretty old town:

http://www.erfurt.de/ef/en/

- Wernigerode is very good. See also Quedlinburg which is just a few kilometers away.

- Why Bad Pyrmont?

- Why Meschede?

- Münster might be interesting instead. Or Celle.

- You may consider seeing some of the Ruhr region.

- For Düsseldorf and the Ruhr, read my GoList:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/GoListDet...hine_Ruhr.html
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Hi,
That looks like a fine itinerary to me.
In Leipzig, try to go to one church service at Thomaner Church when the famous choir is singing.

Wernigerode and neighboring Quedlinburg are cute half-timber towns, part of the UNESCO world heritage.

One favorite pasttime there is to take the narrow gauge steam trains crossing the Harz mountains. They ride on a regular schedule and do not cost more than regular train tickets (several per day).
Many visitors take the (quite expensive) branch that goes up to the top of Brocken mountains. Usually not a good idea, because it's almost always bad, stormy weather up there with lots of clouds -- while down in the lower elevations you have beautiful weather.
You find a bit of information on the railway here (unfortunately not fully consistent in giving information in English on their website)
http://www.hsb-wr.de/hsb_barrierefrei/hsb/hsb_e.htm


You can also take your rental car to explore the Harz. There are many hundreds of kilometers of marked hiking trails or forest roads, mostly easy to moderate strolls.
Whenever you see a parking sign like this along the road, you will find a trail head parking with a map.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:Zeichen_317.svg

The local tourist informations are probably the best source of information on this item.

Since Goslar also is part of the Harz, I will move on westward to Bad Pyrmont.

You probably picked that town because of the spas and hot springs. While Bad Pyrmont's park and also the spa facilities are quite nice, the town itself is not remarkebly pretty (neither ugly).
Therfore I would suggest a day or half-day trip to Hameln from there (only 20km).
Hameln has a beautifully preserved old town, with many fine examples from the so called Weser Renaissance period among the buildings.
You can find some ideas on what to do or see on the website:
http://www.hameln.com/tourism/index.htm
The most exclusive option for accomodation in the area (unless you want to stay in one of the spa hotels in Bad Pyrmont) is this castle:
http://www.schlosshotel-muenchhausen...e/index_fs.htm


Finally, I cannot think of any obstacles for those of you who have to do the driving.
Except for Leipzig, all of the places you want to see are small towns.
Only that last leg from Meschede (I don't want to be nosy, but why on earth to you want to go there??) to Düsseldorf airport will take you via some busy freeways, so you may want to add an hour for possible traffic jams and try to avoid the usual rush hours.
Düsseldorf airport has easy freeway access, so you won't have to navigate through any city streets of Düsseldorf to get there.
If you want to be on the safe side, ask for a rental car with GPS.

Some pretty good routing is available at www.viamichelin.com
If you plan to buy a map for driving in Germany, I would wait until you get to Leipzig and get on with a scale of 1:300,000 or 1:200,000 at any book store or gas station.
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Gradyghost,

I am glad you plan to return to Germany.

You'll miss some very beautiful countryside and sights between Prague and Leipzig. I know you're just back from Dresden, so I know you'll NOT visit the city again. BUT - the National Park "Saxon Switzerland" at the Czech border is gorgeous; especially in fall.

Bad Schandau is a stop for international trains between Prague and Dresden. They just opened a new 5star hotel with fantastic spa there - view of the river, unbelievably low rates. www.elbresidenz-bad-schandau.de
Definitely worth to consider.

How long do you plan to stay in Leipzig? It doesn't offer as much as Dresden, but *is* a very interesting city with excellent dining options ;-)

For the Harz mountains - I second the recommendation of Quedlinburg and the narrow-gauge steam railway.

To be honest, the drive Leipzig - Wernigerode is quite boring. You should consider taking the train. A "Sachsen-Ticket" for 26 or 27 Euro is good for up to five people travelling together on regional trains in the three German states Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Exactly the right choice for you from Leipzig to Wernigerode.

Ingo
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 03:04 PM
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You’re headed to very scenic country, filled with wonderful small towns. This is Grimm Brother country and half-timber house country. There are so many nice places, its hard to go wrong.

If you take Ingo’s advice and train to Wernigerode, I would stay on a “northern” route and skip Erfurt and Eisenach. Wernigerode is a lovely town with a nice marketplace and half-timber houses. Consider stopping in Einbeck (home of Bock beer), Göttingen (University, Markt, Rathaus, Grimm connection) and Münden.

Check out http://tinyurl.com/yvrhh8 for more info on the “Fairytale Road” and some suggested stops. We really enjoyed Kassel and the Wilhemshöhe.

If you choose a more “southern” route, I highly recommend both Erfurt and Eisenach. Also consider stopping in Jena and Weimar.

In either case, spend a day or two in Düsseldorf before you depart.

Happy travels
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Old Nov 18th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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About what I expected on this board--just fabulous observations and suggestions and I thank you. I welcome further comment. Gradyghost

P.S. Ingo, you're right. As much as I would like to return to Dresden, I feel compelled to explore Leipzig. The rest of the trip is open.
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Old Nov 19th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Hi gradyghost! I stayed in the Harz Mountains several years ago and loved it. It wasn't touristy at all which was a refreshing change from southern Germany. We visited relatives in Gottingen and then took the train to Braunlage where we stayed for a few days.

We saw both Wernigerode and Quedlinburg which were lovely towns. I loved Quedlinburg; it's got an interesting artsy feel in the redevelopment which seemed to be just getting underway at that time. Wernigerode was more developed and the castle was nice, but Quedlinburg seemed like a place I'd like to spend more time.

Have fun planning!
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